C'est La Vie

Okay. This feels a bit funny, and exciting at the same time. I can't believe i am resurrecting this blog. One of my many resolutions before the year ended was to pursue writing again on this blog come 2020. Like a volcano, this blog has been dormant. I mean, i pay for its address every year in the hopes that one day i may find the strength and courage to start writing again. For a very long time, this blog has been my comfort zone, and my sounding board. And i personally like it best when i am writing like this - free flowing, without any hesitation or doubt. I don't need to impress anyone with highfalutin words, or so many jargons. When you read this, it's as if i am speaking with you. 

Many things have happened. Fortunately, there were so many beautiful memories of trips to my favorite cities like Tokyo and Seoul. I love going to these places because i draw a lot of creative inspiration whenever i am there. I go to museums, sit at the park, eat at a local restaurant and it all makes me rich in ideals.  I just wished i was as excited to blog then as i am now. Imagine the many different and dynamic stories i could have written. But alas, i was finding myself in silence and just taking it all in. Now that i have overflowing ideas and stories to tell, comes this blog where i will share my thoughts and ideas. I was also able to spend some amazing time with my friends - whom i think will be my friends till i grow old, and these places include Morocco and Russia. C'mon, never have i thought that i would actually be in these places and take photographs. Back in 2007 when i started blogging, it's all about nearby provinces and deserted beaches in Visayas. Now, i brave the cold and come face to face with people from the west, and in the mountains and deserts.

Today, i was suppose to fly to Basco in Batanes, my would be 68th province in the Philippines out of 81 or 82. Taal Volcano erupted a day or two ago, and there were ash fall even outside my house. Just to make sure my folks won't be worried, and that i won't have to trouble myself in the chaos that is NAIA, i rebooked my flight two weeks from now. By that time, hopefully, the sky would be clear, and Taal Volcano would sleep again. Things have changed dramatically, and my adventurous self become more responsible. I live for thrill still, but i calculate my plans and i believe less risks mean more success.

My next blog would probably be in Batanes, or if i have free time from now until then, i would write again. Wish me luck!

In the meantime, i am becoming a kid again collecting Funko Pops, and i am loving it. I also have been training Muay Thai a lot, not anymore to lose weight but to become a stronger version of myself. 2020 is really the year to enjoy, become a kid again (figuratively of course), and just be myself. 

P.S. I took this photo back in 2015 in the mountainous region of Nepal in Bandipur. Seeing this kid up there high in the mountain playing with a lone branch of a tree and just smiling and being curious -- that is happiness and my goal for 2020. C'est La Vie!

Nada no Kenka Matsuri: One of Japan's greatest festivals

Dates:October 14th and 15th
Places: Matsubara Hachiman Shrine City, Shirahama-cho Ko, Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture.

There are no detailed rules or opponents for the vehement collisions of the portable shrines. As soon as the portable shrines are set properly on the men's shoulders and everyone is ready, they are knocked against one another at random, and the moment a portable shrine is hoisted on top of another, the contest is over. The greatest attraction is the struggle among 3 portable shrines when men over 35 wearing white headbands, those of 26-35 with yellow headbands and youths under 26 marked by red headbands, holding bamboo poles in their hands, join in the fight. A vehement struggle unfolds but this is in no way a fight between the men. This festival, which is the largest of the numerous fighting festivals held nationwide, is not only famous in Japan but is also becoming widely known overseas.

Nada no Kenka Matsuri is the popular name for a festival held at the Matsubara Hachiman Shrine in the town of Shirahama, Himeji City. It came to be called by this name, Kenka Matsuri or 'Fighting Festival' because the mikoshi (portable shrines) are jolted against one another when carried on the shoulders of the men in the parade.

The highlight of this festival is Yatai-neri, the parade of "yatai", festival floats, gorgeously decorated with wood carving, gold and silver handiwork and embroidered curtains. The yatai are carried on the shoulders of men and are surrounded by the men holding "shide" (bamboo poles decorated with colorful paper) in their hand. As dusk sets in, illuminations on each of the yatai are lit.

NOTE: I took this photo in the museum in Yanagawa. I was hoping i could catch the festival during my trip but i was exactly three weeks late. If anyone of you are heading to Japan in October, this cannot be missed.

Additional info sourced from here and here

Nature Trippin' in Fukuoka, Japan - Travel to Kiyomizu Water Falls

ALL-TIME FAVORITE POST FROM 2011 RE-BLOGGED: With so many places to check out in Yanagawa, i am bound to just visit one. And boy did i pick the perfect spot. During this time when i went, there was also a Hot Air Balloon Festival going on in Kase Riversite, Saga City. But the impenetrable crowds and the clock ticking, i sadly had to skip it. While cruising the highway, the view of flying balloons put a smile on my face early in the morning. It's a must for those traveling to Saga Ken during the first week of November. So write that down!

Earlier that day, i asked if we can squeeze in some time going to the mountains. After traveling to big cities around Japan, i was i  need of nature trippin' and iwas hoping to roam around mountain peaks and spectacular falls. My host had one place in mind.

And i reckon' one of the best ways to travel around Saga Ken is when you do a road trip. After a few minutes of absolutely perfect road condition, we have arrived in the entrance of Kiyomizu Waterfalls!

When we arrived, we were the only ones there. With relatively no one in sight, i realized how absolutely breathtaking the place is, where plush gardens are adorned by wild flowers and moss green plants. It's like finding yourself lost in the woods in a big city like Saga-Ken. There are no entrance fees to go here but transportation may prove to be a hassle for commuters. Good thing, my host family was driving me there. 

Because Fukuoka is arguably the oldest city in Japan, you are bound to spot hundreds of year old trees. This Cedar tree is about 500 years old. It's massive size and towering height is a must see for nature lovers. It's huge!

"The Kiyomizu Waterfall itself is pretty spectacular. Fed by waters from Mt. Tenzan, the falls is a 75-meter drop. Additionally, there is a temple above it, many Buddha images, a nearby dam, and several bungalows available for rental, making it a great escape from the noise and bustle of Saga. Unfortunately, it is not near any train or bus line, so you will need a car or very strong legs to get there. The way is well marked from Route 203."

Very few articles are available online about Kiyomizu waterfalls and ancient relics found there. A troop of statues and different ancient carvings are in sight. For archaeologists and relic adventurists, Kiyomizu waterfalls will probably be a delight to go to.

The trip is a cool 15-minute hike up the steps. Continue on till you reach the summit with a small temple for worshipers so you can offer a time of peace and indulge in Buddhist rituals. Once you walk further down the hill, you'll reach the edge of the waterfalls.

The cool cool weather proved to be much more strong when i reached the highest most point. And touching the water fall in Mt. Kiyomizu was like touching ice cold water. I felt like Indiana Jones exploring a historical relic from thousands of years ago. And the best part was, there's no one in sight besides us.

While Mt. Tenzan is not the highest mountain in Saga-ken, nor does it afford the best views, it is strategically located right in the center. You just can’t miss it. While the mountain actually occupies parts of Taku, Kyuragi and Fuji as well, the main road to the top begins in Ogi. Follow the signs from Route 203. During the summer Tenzan offers good hiking, and during the winter people attempt to ski and snowboard here. When the winter weather gets a little too warm they make their own “snow,” so the conditions can be a little bit harsh. Adapting to the Japanese workaholic culture, the mountain offers night skiing, staying open until around 10 p.m. Apparently the weekend is the worst time to go, as it is next to impossible to make it down the slope without running into someone. Rentals are available and so are season tickets."

As the fading sun begins to appear, the light rays touching the stream was just ZEN! I felt stopping for a while to take it all in with me.

The little worship house sits on the edge of the cliff in Kiyomizu waterfalls. I stopped here for a bit to catch my breath, wander around and take photos. No one's there when we arrived. So imagine the feeling of finding a lost temple in the middle of the forest.

There's tons of other places to check out when you're in Saga! Check out the listing here!

Let's go Saga-Ken!

Saga Prefecture is located in northern Kyushu, faced by the Sea of Genkai to the north and by the Sea of Ariake to the south.

The center of Kyushu is Fukuoka City. You can easily travel from Fukuoka’s major areas such as Fukuoka Airport, Hakata Station, and Tenjin to Karatsu in Saga Prefecture by taking the Fukuoka City Subway and JR Chikuhi Line via Meinohama Station. Fukuoka City Subway and JR Chikuhi Line operate on the same rail lines so that passengers can travel over both railway companies' areas without transferring at Meinohama Station. It takes about 90 minutes to travel from Fukuoka areas to Karatsu Station. The train ride is enjoyable and provides a magnificent and dynamic window view of the Sea of Genkai.

Yes! It wasn't long enough for me to discover the many facets and hidden gems of Yanagawa and Saga-Ken but i needed to go back to Fukuoka. I've heard so many amazing reviews of the prefecture's nightlife. With a heavier load of clothing and memories, i leave Saga with a warm embrace from the family that showed what warm Japanese hospitality is all about. To Meanne , Marco and their two little boys, domo arigato!!! I feel the love! :) Additional text sourced from here and here

24 Hours at Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea

My trip to Seoul was quick. I thought a couple of days to get my mind off some things would be great. Alas! My experience there didn't. Apart from the fact that i had to layer a lot of clothing, and i forgot a couple of stuff (my mind was somewhere else) so i had to ride trains and make special trips to buy them even though i already have them, it's simply a precursor of things to come. 

Fast forward to the day of my departure, and i was thinking ahead. The last time i was in Seoul which was a couple of months ago, the unexpected happened. I missed my flight. Yes, i did. And lost a couple of hundreds of dollars because my ticket was non-refundable. There were still protests happening in the city center. I saw one near Dongdaemun, and another near Seoul Station. The unthinkable happened, and lost a lot of time because of the heavy traffic and number of people during the rally. 

I arrived at Incheon Airport, practically 5 minutes late. And the ladies at the check in counter wouldn't let me in. So. There. I basically had about an hour to sit and take it all in. I always do that. Whenever i'm about to make a decision or a choice, or if there's something i need to do, i sit and stare and do absolutely nothing. Sometimes, i look for a sign. Thankfully, the universe usually helps me. He knows me more than anybody else. So i know i am well taken cared of. 

Last week, i arrived at Incheon Airport about 4 hours ahead of departure time. I had all the time to relax, and maybe even shop some more souvenirs for the people back home.  But the problem is the counter check in wouldn't open until 11PM, and my flight is at 2:30AM. The problem with this airport is that it's rockin during daytime and dead as fuck at night time. Fell in line for almost an hour in the wrong counter. Apparently, there are two flights from the same airline, leaving at the same time. The only difference is that the other flight is an A320 and is 5J1878, and my flight was supposed to be 5J187. 

When i went to the right counter, the line was long already. Because i wanted to check in quick, get pass the immigration right away so i can roam around the pre-departure area, i fell in line instantly. The flight was late of course. 2:30AM was supposed to be the departure time, now it was the boarding time. Got to the pre-departure area which at that time was around 12MN, with no shop open except for one or two shops selling American food. It was definitely a very sad pre-departure area. But it's also friggin' 12MN.

2:30AM departure time didn't happen of course. At around 6AM, many are already asking for a formal announcement from the ground staff re the real departure time. They told us that there was a problem with the aircraft, and that additional maintenance was needed to make sure we have a good working aircraft flying us back to Manila.

An hour or two later, the sun was up high, and the patience of the passengers were already out of hand. I don't have a total headcount of the number of passengers, but given the capacity of an A330, we're probably around 300 in total. It was supposed to be a full flight. By 9:30AM which meant i was already waiting for 7 hours. This means, it's already past 6 hours, and this airline needs to find accommodation for us. The ground staff decided that because fixing the aircraft is taking a longer time than expected, we need to be booked to a hotel and wait for further announcement. Problem with this is that we need to get our baggage, and that means we need to pass through immigration again to get our luggage at the carousel. We cannot pass through immigration again because technically, we haven't left the airport yet. We didn't fly. So how can we arrive at Incheon Airport when we haven't departed yet. 

What the ground staff did was all the passengers of this flight were directed to the a separate counter named Failure for Departure. We got a lot of questions from immigration officers, of course. But we were able to pass through. 

It feels weird having to exit the arrival area again after getting our luggage and transferring them all one by one to our designated bus. By this time around, i was hungry and sleepless. This has made me slightly nauseous. I was just trying to stay calm because complaining about it, and making a scene wouldn't do me good in a foreign land. Worse, it wouldn't help me fly back home faster. 

Rode the bus, and was dozing off even before the bus left. After about three quick naps, i woke up to find out we're right at the departure area of this blessed airport. WTF??? I gave it to them, thinking the hotel that will billet us would probably be the airport hotel, only to find out we were directed to the check in counter. Apparently, our flight was now scheduled to depart at 2:3OPM because the aircraft by this around was already fixed. 

It was redundant actually to do this thing all over again - fall in line at the check in counter, pass by immigration and roam around the pre-departure area until boarding. The only difference is that the place is now lit up, all the shops are now open and there are already so many people roaming around the airport. All in all, it's a totally different scenario from before. 

I didn't tell you that to be fair, i got a lot of meal vouchers, at about 8,000 KRW per meal to about 16,000 KRW which was a pretty good deal, and that helped me lessen my stress. There were more restaurants open which means i have more food choices. Because i have 16,000 KRW, i have more money to spend on food. I went to the best restaurant in the airport at the Chinese restaurant at the Food Empire. I ordered Crab Fried Rice and Wanton Noodles. I even ordered fruit ginger ale to feel good. The food was amazing, and everything was tasty. I paid my lunch for about 22,000 KRW which means i needed to add some more thousands for this lovely meal. 

It's now almost an hour before departure at 2:30PM and no sign of the crew. What happened after? Of course, our flight was delayed again. There were a lot of options handed to passengers. They could cancel this flight, and rebook their own. But who will rebook the flight? Who will shoulder the expenses? That is the mighty question. Up until now, i still don't know who.

Little by little the 300 passengers grew smaller and smaller. There was significant reduction in the people waiting at the gate. The aircraft is parked right where it was hours before, meaning it was just there. 

At around 7:30PM, the flight was delayed again for five hours, which means from the original departure time of 2:30AM, the flight was delayed for a total of 17 hours. 

There were a lot of commotion already at the boarding gate. With airport police on standby just in case somebody breaks down and fights with any of the ground staff. There was one Korean man who was seemingly quiet the whole, eventually breaking down, and decided to cancel the flight and the trip to Manila. 

As many as hundreds already cancelled their trip altogether. With some who have plans of a four-day vacation, minus the flight delays would mean they will only spend overnight in the Philippines. Worse, there were others who would later arrive in Manila and leave the same night.

I talked to a Korean couple who got married recently, and decided spend their honeymoon in Davao. With no direct flight, this means they need to stop over in Manila and onwards to their destination. Given the flight delays, that wouldn't give them enough time. So, sadly they decided to cancel the flight and the whole trip altogether. They love the Philippines, but they wouldn't visit anytime soon. I cannot blame them at all.

We're now about less than a hundred in the boarding gate. And because the real and supposedly final boarding time is back at 2:30AM, i now have a couple more hours to kill. I went upstairs to the lounge and took a shower. It was so refreshing. Afterwards, i discovered an area where i could lay down properly and managed to doze off for a couple of minutes. I woke up hungry. I used my voucher at Taco Bell and ordered all the stuff i wouldn't eat in Manila given my semi-strict diet. 

There was a family, with senior citizen parents and their two daughters. I cannot imagine if my parents were in the same position - experiencing a delay for 24 hours and sleeping in the airport. That's too much for them to handle. Add to the fact that i have nephews who're kids. Earlier, there were a lot of children sleeping on the floor. Later on, they were able to board the Philippine Airlines flight. 

There was also a teacher who just finished her term in Seoul. She's very calm and collected. She knows a lot about Korea, and our conversations were even more enriching because of her stories.

There was mother with her child. She's Filipina and her husband is Korean. The little boy same age as my nephew only speaks Korean. Amidst the long waiting time, he was actually pretty behaved. Good job! 

Then there was a Turkish man who lives in Seoul but whose wife is back in Manila. Apparently, he only has about three days to visit Manila to be with his wife before he returns to Seoul to work. Given the flight delays he will arrive in the same day as his flight. 

Then there was a couple with a strong fierced woman who carries a huge Louis Vuitton paper bag. She communicates well, and her strong demeanor helped us actually convince the ground staff to have it our way. Her boyfriend, i assume, was also equally eloquent who was very calm yet strong with his request. 

There were even more characters, like the American guy who swear never to ride Cebu Pacific again. But would probably ride again because of it's low fare. There was a Filipino who had to take an emergency leave again because she was stranded. As soon as she arrives back in Manila, she will have to go straight to the office. 

And as for me, i dozed off right at the moment we boarded the plane after having spent a whopping 24 hours at the Incheon International Airport. And it was only more fitting to know that during the red eye flight, it was blue moon which made the whole flight scary and interesting at the same time. And yes, we're about 20 people on this A330 flight. 

I still believe things happen for a reason. Call me now the eternal positive. That's what i learned from this experience.

Travel Notes from Koh Tao, Thailand

ALL-TIME FAVORITE POST FROM 2010 RE-BLOGGED: By the time you leave Koh Tao, i know that you are now feeling really sad to leave one of the most beautiful places on earth. Don't worry! With too many islands down South of Thailand, i am pretty sure you will have an equally grand time in a deserted island somewhere. I left in the middle of afternoon. I've researched prior that numerous ferries and boat trips that leave for the other islands like Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Samui leave from Koh Tao. At the same time, for those who are ending their journey, there's package that will take you from this island straight to Bangkok on your way back home.

This is one of the scene you will see at the ferry port. There's too many people waiting for their journey somewhere. I waited for my ferry to Koh Pha Ngan from Koh Tao. The ticket costs less than i thought it would be. As i was smoking my cigarette and drinking my cola, i opened my guidebook to find out where to stay in Koh Pha Ngan. After staying in Haad rin for a long time last time for the full moon party, i wanted to discover the other beaches and attractions there in hippie Pha Ngan.

I asked a kind gentleman i don't know from where. He bummed for a ciggie, and referred us to the greater beaches of north, east and west. He was referring to the two awesome beaches up north. You need to ride a water taxi going to the beach; less people, less amenities, just pure nature. I kind of liked the idea. But with time and money pressured, I had to forgo the suggestion and go somewhere else.

Waiting for the ferry to arrive gives you enough time to adjust yourself and keep cool. Leaving is particularly shitty as always, so the waiting time gives you the opportunity and go back realizing how it was so amazing to actually roam around Koh Tao.

Here you can see the price index for the different trips you might book onwards from Koh Tao. I must say not a very bad price at all. Somehow it is cheaper to travel from here to the other islands than taking it from somewhere else.

As i leave Koh Tao and head out to Koh Pha Ngan, there's one thing i realized, "Sometimes, you need to leave a place you really like because missing it really warms your heart."

So, How Beautiful Really is Subic Beach in Sorsogon, Philippines?

You won't believe that i drafted this post 6 years ago. This has been sitting on my blog post list the whole time. After clicking on it, i realized how amazing Subic Beach really is. Back then, i only use point and shoot, and the megapixel count isn't as high as the the one in my camera now. 

The trip to Subic Beach wasn't planned. I flew to Catarman in Northern Samar, eager to explore Biri. Unfortunately, the trip there pushed thru with mishaps. And up until now, i vow never to return again. A ferry ride away plus a smaller boat crossing San Bernardino Straight leads you to this island. 

Whenever people ask me about the most beautiful beach that i've been to, i always think Subic Beach is on top of my list. What makes this place extraordinarily beautiful is that the sand is indeed pink, because of crushed red corals. And the water, is divinely green. Top it all off, there's no soul in sight. 

Now i say, you really don't need a fancy camera nor superb photography knowledge or experience to take really good photos. Because what makes a good photo beautiful is subjective. I consider this particular photo beautiful because i shot this photo, and it was taken at the most beautiful time of the day.

Others may say that they know of more beautiful beaches. I cannot contest that. To each his own. But mine really is Subic Beach. 

The other side of the island is totally unspoilt. 

And the only structure you can find in there is a small hut where the caretaker lives. If there have been recent developments there, please let me know. 6 years ago, there was no electricity there, too.

That's my home for a few days; that red tent pitched with the help of my boatman. 

Apart from me, my boatman and the caretaker, this dog was the only other soul living on this island. 

You don't need to go too far to swim. Anywhere is always a good spot to swim in Subic Beach. 

6 years younger and about 60 pounds lighter, that's me

A family from the neighboring island came by to relax one afternoon

Bangkok, Thailand: Some Things You Can't Forget

ALL-TIME FAVORITE POST FROM 2008 RE-BLOGGED: So there's a lot i cannot forget about Bangkok or BKK as the Thai girl i once met wants Bangkok to be called. It's such a big city with so many happenings going on and so many things to experience -- day or night. I may need to start a blog about it, just Bangkok. But a good 'ol friend of mine told me last night "you cannot get attached to a place so much."

It's just how travelers do it; embrace the culture, navigate the destination, pack up and go! Because if you do get attached and get sentimental about the people, the places, the events, you will be missing some more unexplored territories waiting for you to conquer and to experience. But as they say, the nature of travelers is to tell amazing stories of their journey -- how wonderful it is to travel and visit a place they want to call their new home away from home.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not hard as stone. I had my share of sad goodbyes to this wonderful country (more on that later on), and Bangkok is a definite come back place for me, hopefully in Ferbruary when i continue my backpacking trip across South East Asia. I'll start in BKK so i can make my way up north or south first. That is tentative for now. I'll think it over the holidays. 

As i was trying to get some sleep last night, i asked myself what are the things i could not forget about Bangkok. There's just so many. I will try to write them down now as i remember them.

1. Killer Streets

I can never forget waking up in the morning. Yes, i was a morning person in Bangkok; wrapping my neck with a borrowed towel, going downstairs and trying to cross the busy street to buy myself at 7-11 the best Milo mix i've tasted, and biggie size, too. But before you do that, you have to master crossing the streets. You have to look at your left and then your right. Cars just pass by you like craaaazy. At first it took me 10+ minutes to cross the street, eventually i learned the trick. It's either you have a really good timing or you run fast when a car approaches you inches away. Pick one. I chose the latter. It gets you up in the morning though. Now, i'm looking forward to Saigon in Vietnam.

2. What a Show
I can never forget being seen butt naked by Swedish girls. It was embarrassing! I was about to go to the bathroom to hit the shower, i was at the terrace smoking some ciggies. I was carrying with me portable speaker then listening to Moby. And then, a girl came up, apparently she sleeps next door. As soon as i saw her, the wrap in my lower body loosened up. Shit... I immediately grabbed the towel but it was a little too late though. It was fun, and i pretended like nothing happened. As soon as my towel dropped, i said hi. Hi from me and from him down there. But it was nothing. She was wondering who was playing all the dope music last night that's why she asked. She says, "Good choice, I like your music a lot!" I never saw her again.

3. Thai Fried Rice

I can never forget the Thai fried rice. I mean, it's not my first time to eat Thai food anywhere. We have it here in Manila. But eating authentic Thai food in Thailand is quite something. The fried rice is just perfection. You can smell the aroma, the explosion of flavors in your mouth and the colors of pepper, onions, eggs, and garlic are all appetizing. And you can watch as they fry it in the pan. You know that it's freshly cooked. I loved every bite of it. 

One time i was with Adam, he ordered for some chicken and plain rice at a small hawker stall near the canal. He asked for the price, and it was only 20 baht. No kiddin'. And then i saw how the Thai lady grabbed Adam's thai bill with her right hand, and used the same hand to get the rice without using any cup or whatsoever and grabbed the chicken with the same hand. That was something. Dirty but Cheap! Would you eat it? He ate it and nothing happened to him.

4. The Attack of Chang

Chang, Chang, Chang, and more Chang!!! I can never forget Chang. It tastes okay as a beer. Others prefer Lao. Not a lot of people i know like Tiger. I find Chang though as the ultimate Thai beer. Drinking big bottles of Chang is the way to go. It's almost the same price as the small bottle, a few bahts more, you can get more drinks right? And San Miguel is so expensive in Bangkok, probably the most expensive beer there. It's even more expensive than Heineken. But you have to get drunk sometimes, right? I wanted to every night! 

5. Shop Till You Drop

I can never forget how shopping is considered a national sport in Bangkok. There are shops everywhere. If i had more money, i could spend $100 and bring home so much stuff it felt like i spent $400. Everything's cheap in Thailand. I wish i could have gone to Chatuchak but i was in Bangkok during the weekday, and you have to go to Chatuchak during the weekends. 

On my last day i bought "pasalubongs" for my family. The stuff they sell is really hip and expensive looking. The t-shirts are the best. You can buy 100 baht tees, and there so many colors and designs to choose from. But somehow, i wasn't up for shopping. My priorities have changed since i backpacked. I don't need them new shirts, i just want to travel with five shirts and two shorts, that's it. Oh and do my own laundry. Well, having someone do you laundry would cost you around 60 baht for 1 and half kilos of soiled dirty clothes.

6. Budget your Money Wisely

I can never forget being too irresponsible with my money. Bangkok is my last stop. And so is my money-- on its way to nothingness. It's almost disheartening as days pass by. But i managed to responsibly budget my money (i can't remember how), and how i did it is still a mystery. All i know is i eat a lot of cup noodles during lunch so i can down 3 big bottles of Chang at night. And i didn't even bother going to the mall. We have it here in Manila anyway. Right now, I'm still learning how to budget my money, and it sure helps being stuck in Bangkok for a few days with less than a thousand baht with you! Take that! But if all else fails, there's always some money transfer via Western Union. Thank goodness you can get money wired to you in just minutes.

7. Hang-out with Cool Friends

I can never forget making good friends in Bangkok. I don't wanna sound sentimental. I promise this won't be dramatic like the drama scripts i write, but it was really nice hanging out with local thais at Sinat. They're pretty friendly. I could stay in Bangkok for one year or more. I could seriously do that.

And Adam who just sent pics of himself and the kids at Pnom Penh. He's staying in Cambodia's version of Smokey Mountain. This guy may be a street punk and says shit a lot but i learned a lot from him. And i have high respects for the dude. See you brotha next year around South East Asia!

8. Thai Girls

Oh yeah. I can never forget about Thai girls. There's something about them. They aren't like Filipinas. They may look a little similar but how they act and talk to people, big difference there. Thais are so smiling. And there's something how they smile and look at you. I think Thai girls rock.

9. Thai Values

Respect. I can never forget about how Thai people pay their respects to the king and queen. I don't wanna dwell with the government. But during my brief stay in Thailand, i realized these people love their king and queen so much, like they love their own father and mother. And that i think is admirable. Of course, taking aside the massive rally that went on in Bangkok's International Airport. I don't write about Politics. It's just not my interest.

It was time for me to head home for now because i miss my parents also. And they've been kind and understanding to let me go and travel just because i want to. 

10. Thailand is like the Philippines

In many aspects, Thailand is the closest to the Philippines. In all of the South East Asian countries that i've been to, i find Thailand, the most similar to the Philippines. The traffic, the lights at night, the malls, the beautiful people, the warm embraces, the friendliness, the food, the dirt and finding beauty in it, even the currency. I always find a very good deal in Thailand because the Philippine Peso and Thai Baht are almost the same. 1 is to 1. But of course, Manila airport is definitely nothing like their airport. Suvarnabhumi International Airport is plain beautiful. Philippines still has a long, long way to go.
But there's one more thing i can never forget about Bangkok. This on my next entry. I am going out tonight with a good friend. Here's to experiencing Manila Nightlife again! I missed it a lot!